VRS_Update 11/23

Vocational Rehabilitation Services header

Dear Community Partners,  

I have a number of updates for you today. 


Updates to VRS Reimbursement for Transportation Policy 

VRS published the Transportation Reimbursement policy on July 2, 2020. Today, November 23, 2020, VRS has publish a revision to that policy to clarify a number of issues. They are outlined below, and the revised policy is available on the VRS external here. Changes appear in red, new language is underlined, and deleted language is noted with a strikethrough. 


Note: Background information, notes, and policy methodology published July 2, 2020 has extracted the policy document itself and published as a standalone document at the link above.


Policy Addition: Consumer Financial Participation 

The policy published on July 2, 2020 did not include policy regarding Consumer Financial Participation (CFP). The new policy updates state: 

  • For travel costs when a provider is transporting an individual for the purposes of their employment plans: 
  • CFP DOES apply to these costs, unless the contracted service is for assessment or Pre-ETS.  
  • Transportation Services must be on the individual’s employment plan. 
  • For travel expenses when a provider is traveling to or from the individual – and the individual is NOT in the vehicle: 
  • CFP DOES NOT apply in this circumstance. 
  • These travel expenses do NOT need to be on the individual’s employment plan. 


Policy Clarification: Service Types and Titles for General Services 

The policy published on July 2, 2020 did not include instruction to staff for how to authorize for transportation reimbursement. VRS made the decision to include this staff instruction in the policy to reduce confusion for VRS staff and community partner staff. The instructions read: 

  • When authorizing for Travel Expenses when a provider is traveling to or from the individual – and the individual is NOT in the vehicle, VR staff should use service type ”Travel Expenses to Provider” and service title “Travel Expenses to Provider - Travel To/From Person.” 
  • When authorizing for Transportation Services when a provider is transporting an individual for the purposes of assessment or their employment plan, VR staff should use service type “Transportation Services” and service title “Transportation to Vendor.” 


Policy Clarification:  Assessing the need for transportation reimbursement 

The policy published on July 2, 2020 did not include clarification about how VRS staff will determine if transportation reimbursement will be authorized. The new policy clarifies how those decisions are made.  

  • Adding transportation to an individual’s employment plan or authorizing for a provider to use that transportation time is always at the discretion of VRS staff.  
  • VRS staff will evaluate decisions about travel reimbursement involving transport of the individual using VR Transportation Policy chapter 5B. That policy can be found on DEED’s external website at https://apps.deed.state.mn.us/ddp/PolicyDetail.aspx?pol=58 
  • VRS staff make that decision in conversation with the individual and the provider.  
  • VRS staff is empowered to determine that no transportation time is needed and therefore not authorize for it. 
  • VRS staff will be evaluating each individual situation before adding it to the authorization. 


Policy Revision: Starting Location  

The policy regarding the starting location for calculating time has been revised. The new policy reads:  

  • Starting Location 
  • The starting location for an authorization for transportation should be the service provider staff’s primary work location. 
  • If the staff’s primary work location is not the provider site, then the provider staff may provide an alternate primary work location such as the staff’s residence to serve as the starting location but only when this is the most direct, efficient and shortest route. 
  • If a provider staff chooses the staff’s residence as the starting location, the provider must provide the address. If an address is not provided, the zip code of the staff’s residence must be provided to VRS at a minimum. 


Job Coaching with OJE, JTO and Internships 

VRS has changed policy to allow job coaching hours to be authorized to support individuals participating in an On-the-Job Evaluation (OJE), Job Tryout (JTO), or Internship, if needed. If job coaching is being considered, there should be a collaborative discussion to discuss the person’s needs which includes VRS staff, the provider, the employer (if applicable) and input from the participant. This change is in response to a Rehabilitation Services Administration directive that job coaching should be “unbundled” and authorized for separately from the OJE, JTO, or Internship service. 


VRS Community Partners and VRS Staff Forum 

Please join us for the next VRS Community Partners and VRS Staff Forum Monday, November 30 from 10:00 am to 12:00 am. Meeting link to follow. Primary topics will be the transportation policy changes outlined in this message and the PBA changes that were communicated this spring and summer.)  


P/T Amendment Update 

We are working hard on the P/T amendments that you submitted! As we’ve mentioned, there are a lot of them, and we are doing our best to get them through the process as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience! 



Kim Babine 

Director of Community Partnerships 

Direct: 651-259-7349